Update: It looks like the gold iPhone is going to be rather champagne gold color, not yellow gold. See image above. It’s a more elegant color suitable for the Western audience.

Several news sites reported the rumor that Apple may be releasing a gold iPhone 5S in a few weeks: All Things D, Gizmodo, Mail Online and cnet.

Many people frowned, but several others thought it’s a good idea. Let’s explore what gold means in various markets important for Apple.

In North America on one hand gold is associated with reliable investment. On the other hand gold also has a strong association with tasteless and pointless opulence.

The European perception is very similar to the North American with the exception that it is also associated with rich churches and royal palaces.

Many rich and middle class Europeans are into gold jewelry and watches.

North Africa, Middle East and India loves gold. It’s not only a sign of success and financial security, but it is also closely associated with celebrations like marriage and religious gifting events. In many countries you can find streets with dozens of shops that only sell gold jewelry. Well off families own kilos of gold in jewelry and gold bars.

Golden objects are not uncommon in Arabia. Not only bags or phones but cars too. People do not generally have any negative associations with gold.

Traveling further East gold in Buddhism and in Chinese culture is associated with wealth, freedom and royalty. Gold in Feng Shui means money, happiness and warmth. People like having gold objects in their homes.

In conclusion, gold aside from the negative connotations of opulence in the West has an overwhelmingly positive meaning in most parts of the world.

So releasing a gold iPhone would make total sense for Apple. The device will probably be a high-end 128GB device with the fastest chip and best camera available.

Let’s look at some of mock-up pictures of how iPhone 5S Gold could look like.

Would you want a golden iPhone? How do you feel about it?

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